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News from the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools office November/December 2011

Holly Hermansen, Superintendent

The Nugget has a NEW FEATURE!

Quick Reference Calendar…

will list events in chronological order that have been highlighted in the past and are still pertinent.

News & Notes Get in the Groove with a Fitness Challenge By Superintendent of Schools Holly Hermansen The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office has just completed a Four Week Fitness Challenge. This event started out as an attempt to help us all put a little more focus on our health, but has turned into so much more than that. Employees have had the opportunity to collect weekly points for eating healthy foods, exercising, and participating in healthy activities like reading an article on health. Bonus points were awarded for getting a good night sleep, taking 10 minutes for you, and eating extra fruits and vegetables. What we liked most about this was that everyone was on an equal playing field. An individual who isn‟t used to as much physical activity could score as many points as a fitness nut that goes to the gym four times a week. All of it results in healthier habits, as conversations abound about keeping ourselves healthy. The value of this four week activity will go far beyond the time frame of the „competition‟, as it has provided an opportunity for individuals to look at their life style choices on a daily basis. A healthy body is a glorious gift. There are many ways that we can stay healthy, renewed, and reenergized as we go through the school year facing continuing difficulties and challenges. Here are just a few:  Stay healthy. Eat well and exercise, get lots of sleep, and take care of yourself in other ways: take a walk; read a book; take a class; or, get together with a friend.  Celebrate success. Acknowledge yourself for the results your work has provided. Write them down for yourself or to share with others. We go through our days and weeks so quickly and often spend more time focused on what we wish we could have done rather than the successes.  Make sure the students and families we work with know we value them and care. A little effort can go a long way. We will feel the results of better relationships and

communication if we let each and every family and child know we care and are committed to success. To do this, we truly have to believe that every child can be successful given the supports they need.  Take the time to focus on what brings you joy in your work. Why do you want to do this work and what impact are you having? Remember how you have evolved and why you were driven to be a person that has an impact.  Learn something new. Try a new strategy, approach, or method. Talk to your peers about what they are doing and share your new learning with them.  Laugh a lot. There are many big and overwhelming things that we face in our jobs; how to make sure every student is successful, potential budget cuts resulting in fewer resources for those who most need them, and on a larger scale, upcoming changes in No Child Left Behind and the implementation of Common Core Standards. We are, without a doubt, more resilient and better able to face challenges if we take care of ourselves personally and professionally. I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season. May you make a „health-related New Year‟s resolution‟ without the guilt!

Time for Concoctions to Begin: Al Jennings Nevada County Science Fair By Science Fair Coordinator Daniel Dummett The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools office will again be hosting the Al Jennings Nevada County Science Fair. This event recognizing Nevada County youth will be held April 16th-18th at the Grass Valley Elks Lodge #538. The News & Notes… continues on page 2


2012 Nevada County Science Fair Handbook, the guide for submitting entries into the fair, is now available on-line at The handbook includes fair guidelines, timeline, regulations, applications, and abstract information. The skills necessary to conduct an investigation should be taught and practiced in the classroom as addressed in the Science Investigation and Experimentation standards. For all grade levels, students should be guided by classroom teachers in the process of asking a testable question, researching possible answers to the question, forming a hypothesis based on one possible answer, and then designing an authentic investigation to test their hypothesis. Students should be instructed in methods of collecting and recording data using tables and graphs, and interpreting results. Further information will be provided in future Nugget’s. Teachers will be added to a science fair group e-mail list by request to Daniel Dummett at Important Nevada County Science Fair dates are:



March 23

Report project totals

March 26

School allotment announcement

April 11

Applications due

April 16

Project drop-off

April 18

Science Fair open to the public. Classes are invited to take field trips on this date.

Let There Be Music! By Brummitt-Taylor Committee Chairperson Diane Robertson New site reps/liaisons for the Brummtt-Taylor Classical Music Listening Program met in a private home November 4 for a reception and informal discussion. Some were veterans with long, enthusiastic experience with the Music in the Mountains (MIM) and NCSOS sponsored program, and others were just getting started. The reps will serve as liaisons between teachers using Brummitt-Taylor and MIM; keeping track of kits, assisting new users, sharing ideas, and facilitating for their school such programs as Peers Performing for Peers and Music Live. For further information regarding Brummitt-Taylor contact MIM Education Director Mark Vance at 265-6173. MIM welcomes and thanks everyone for their enthusiasm and looks forward to spreading the music. All MIM educational programs are free of charge.

Trainings • Field Trips • Opportunities for All Trainings & Collaboration Meetings 2011-12 SEPAC Video Series Continues The Special Education parents Advisory Committee (SEPAC) is a representative group of parents who provide resources and support to parents with special needs children. One avenue of support is a video presentation series. The next presentation is January 10, 2012, titled Puberty & Adolescent Development with Special Education Nurse Havilyn Kern. For additional info contact Randy McKean at 265-0611 x203 or email

Creating Public Value thru CA Arts Council Grant & the National Gallery of Art Expanding on two grants received by the Nevada County Digital Media Center (NCDMC) and the Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF), a

Community of Interest Forum will be held on Wednesday, December 14, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the NCTV studio. State of CA Arts Council Director Craig Watson will be in attendance, lending his expertise in small, rural, culturally rich communities. The goal is to develop a means of providing curriculum to art teachers county-wide. The curriculum comes from the National Gallery of Art and is accompanied by companion videos created by NCDMC. Interested teachers, students, and art docents are invited to attend. For more info contact Penelope Curtis at 798-5955 or email See Quick Reference Calendar… beginning on page 3, referencing Trainings & Collaborations highlighted in previous editions of The Nugget.

Opportunities for All Math, Science & Technology Teachers; Tech Trek 2012 is coming! In early December you will receive nomination and program information for the 2012 AAUW Tech Trek program for 7th grade girls. Tech Trek is an American Association of University Women (AAUW) scholarship program for girls to attend a week-long science/math/technology residential summer camp on a California university campus. The camp will be held June 24-30, 2012. For more information contact Martha Rees,

Field Trips See Quick Reference Calendar… beginning on page 3, referencing Field Trips highlighted in previous editions of The Nugget.

Trainings • Field Trips • Opportunities for All...

continues on page 3


Science Olympiad Expands to Division B Competition; serving 7th-8th-9th Grades

Writing Contest for Teachers: Teaching Democracy in Light of the 2012 Election

The 2011 Elementary Science Olympiad was so successful that the program, new to Nevada County last year, is expanding to participate in Division B, a multi-county Science Olympiad for grade 7-9 students. The event will be held on March 3, 2012, with the top four teams progressing to the State competition. In Division B the level of science ratchets up from the elementary level. To make this event another great success we are in need of volunteers to staff events in the areas of physical, earth, and life sciences. For more information contact PRSD Superintendent Britta Skavdahl at

The California HSS (History-Social Science) Project is looking for original articles from teachers to include in the next edition of The Source: “Democracy, Citizenship, and the Presidency.” Submit an article about teaching democracy in light of the 2012 election. They welcome the incorporation of lesson ideas and valuable teaching resource recommendations. Articles should be 400-600 words and must be original work. The winner will receive $75 and the article will become copyrighted under the Regents of the University of California. Entries may be submitted December 16, 2011 thru January 2, 2012. Submit word document via email attachment to

Neuroscience for Kids Sign up to receive an e-mail copy of the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter, distributed monthly by Dr. Eric H. Chudler from the University of Washington. The newsletter is informative, fun, and free. The newsletter contains what‟s new on the Neuroscience for Kids pages, highlights of recent findings in brain research, special experiments for the classroom, archives of past newsletters, science fair projects, feedback from users, and book reviews. To request the newsletter email

Finding Funding: Tip of the Month IdeaPaint is a dry-erase paint that can turn every inch of classroom into a place to interact and explore, creating a 360degree collaborative learning environment. It encourages kids to interact and inspires them to share ideas. Submit your school‟s story and win a complete IdeaPaint makeover for your classroom. For more info or enter at

MUSIC in the MOUNTAINS presents… Music Live Fall Music Live concert dates have been filled. Three additional concert dates will be added in the spring.

Peers Performing 4 Peers Student performers come into the classroom for approximately 25 minute presentations. Classroom visits can be scheduled mid-May. For more info or to schedule a classroom concert contact Mark Vance at 265-6173.

Brummitt-Taylor This outstanding classical music listening program is for students K-6. Kits are free to teachers who would like to use the program on long-term loan from Music in the Mountains (MIM). No classical training or background is required. For more info contact Mark Vance at 265-6173. All MIM educational programs are free of charge.

Quick Reference Calendar… Calendar events have been highlighted in previous editions of The Nugget and are listed in chronological order. Back issues with additional information can be found at

2012 Elementary Science Olympiad 

December 1, 2011, 3:30 p.m.: coaches meeting in the PRSD conference room.

Upcoming CPR & EMSA Class Dates CPR CPR CPR CPR EMSA (for Childcare Providers)

Sat. 12/3 Thurs. 12/15 Thurs. 1/5 Sat. 1/7 Thurs. 1/14

9 – 1 p.m. 3 – 7 p.m. 3 - 7 p.m. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 9 – 5 p.m.

Quick Reference Calendar… continues on page 4



December 8, 12:30-3:30 December 8, 8 – 11 December 1, 8:30 – 11:30

NCSOS/Houser NCSOS/Houser NCSOS/Houser

Grass Valley Elks Lodge #538 Essay Contest January 10, 2012: deadline for submission

Tournament Schedule for School Year 2011-12

EVENT Writing Math Math Speech Prelims Speech Finals

GRADE th th 7 /8 th th 5 /6 th th 7 /8 th th 4 –8 th th 4 –8

DATE 1/11 1/25 1/26 3/8 3/19

LOCATION Miner’s Foundry Miner’s Foundry Miner’s Foundry Calvary Bible Church Nevada Theatre

SYRCL ~ Wild & Scenic Film Festival presentation for primary students January 13, 2012: morning showing at the Del Oro Theatre

Poetry Out Loud!  

January 31, 2012: School site competitions must be completed to compete in the county-wide competition. February 15, early evening: Countywide competition and awards night at the Bear River High School Auditorium

Young at Art  

February 29 - March 2: installation of artwork takes place according to guidelines May 28-29: Artwork to be removed by 5:00 p.m. on second day

Art Docent Luncheon: May 22, 2012

Art Docent Program


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